Lake Erie toxic algal blooms: Non-profits float declaration to get people involved

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A declaration has been floated by non-profit environmental groups Canadian Freshwater Alliance and Freshwater Future Canada for people to sign and show their support for the elimination of toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.

The two non-profits along with Environmental Defence are calling upon government implement solutions that will bring the toxic algal blooms to a halt on Lake Erie. Lake Erie is under threat from algae-causing pollution that can make its waters too toxic to drink or swim in. The toxic algae jeopardizes people’s health as well as the surrounding economy, the non-profits have said.

Experts predict that this year’s bloom in western Lake Erie will be one of the worst ever recorded. Algal blooms are forcing beach closures, increasing water treatment costs, killing fish, and are a threat to the lake’s multi-billion dollar tourism economy.

The number one cause of the blooms is run-off from farms containing high levels of phosphorus. Other algae-causing pollution sources include municipal wastewater and stormwater discharges, run-off from streets and lawns that contain pet waste and lawn fertilizer, and poorly maintained septic systems.

Through the declaration, the non-profit organisations are calling upon the people to ensure that Lake Erie is safe and thriving for the current as well as future generations. The declaration calls for the people to acknowledge a shared responsibility to preserve the diversity of life, the quality of our water and the wellbeing of the community within the Lake Erie region.